Thursday, September 29, 2011
The streamer bite has been rocking. Sink tips working overtime.Intermediate stealth tips with long fluorocarbon leaders, 200-275 grain tips to full sinking lines are all part of the line up. Single and double rigs everyday. Streamer sizes have ranged from 2 to 12. Bright, light and something in the middle. Rubberleg junk, rabbit strip, red dumbell eyes all getting the grab.
Landlocks are starting to turn aggressive in some waters. Very territorial responses to be expected now and in the future. Brookies doing their color change routine. Fall colors peaking around the neighborhood. Grab your favorite streamer stick, a box full of streamers, a spool of 2X, some ibuprofen and fish the fall season.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
We've been at it hard this month and have met only a handful of anglers during our travels. Most encounters have been back at the mobile office (truck) or the beginning of a path. Inquiries are made and conversations come to the enviable "Get any" talk.
If we've learned anything in all our travels is things improve when one starts to leave the paths, trail signs and footprints. That thick alder patch. That impenetrable wild grape, rose and thistle stream side barrier. The old growth cedar and spruce forest that has taken over the tote road from the nineteenth century. Game trails that make more sense than the bushwhacking. In our view those obstacles are the start of a great day afield.
This fly fishing addiction is a practice in discovery. Explore.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The fall season has officially arrived. We really dig this season for all the obvious reasons. The colors. The light at the beginning and end of the day. The small rivers and streams that we fish one more time until next season. The aggressive fish. That streamer bite that goes all day. Glad to have fall come, hate to see it go. Fill your days this season. They are numbered.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Yesterdays trip we rolled the dice. At 4:00 it started. At 6:45 it was over. We cashed out and left for another casino. Knowing when to leave the table and when to stay is always a gamble. Be a player.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Metabolisms are starting to kick into high gear now and the continuing dropping water levels produce a great feeding scenario. Most return clients are surprised with our streamer selection for rainbows. Many have fished with us for browns in the past and have thrown one or two large streamers with pretty good results. We change the game a bit for rainbows. Longer and finer leaders of fluorocarbon to start. Streamer size drops dramatically compared to the brown trout rig. Sizes 8-12 are our standard.
The reasoning for the size drop (this is just our observations over many seasons on a variety of waters) is the mouth size of a large (16" and over) rainbow compared to the mouth size comparably sized brown. That their attitudes are polar opposites plays into this also. With that said, streamer fishing for rainbows has a limited return (our opinion). Our largest client caught streamer rainbow is 19". Compared to other techniques it ranks last in size producer. This isn't to say a monster rainbow wouldn't eat a size 2 articulated Butt Monkey. They will. Our Alaska experience sends that message home. Size 2 Egg Sucking Sculpins and other large and in charge patterns produced some incredibly memorable bows. Totally different scene that Alaskan rainbow compared to the lower forty eight.
With the experiences we have had we still streamer fish for these guys for the distinctive aspect of it all. Their grab is uniquely different and the runs are always entertaining. That flash in the water column that gets your attention. That solid hit. Bring it on.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Irene left a tremendous amount of destruction in our surrounding area. Rivers and streams were above spring runoff stages. It's been really cool to walk and fish these waters the last few weeks.
Back channels have disappeared, while other new ones have developed. Older riffle runs have filled in and smoothed out. New glides and pockets around almost every corner. The amount of new structure is astounding. Trees, root wads and driki are all potential fish habitat.
The go to system for us when exploring new water is to use the double streamer rig. It's a fast and efficient way to cover new water. Some areas that looked great produced the skunk. Others produced beyond expectation.
You won't know if you don't go.
Monday, September 12, 2011
We nymph fish this hatch a bit different than the standard bobber/shot rig. A short sink tip (intermediate or type three) delivers the goods easily. Run a 4'-5' fluorocarbon 3X leader with a bugger as the lead fly. Light conditions and water clarity decide color and type. Drop a size 12-14 zugbug 14" off the bend of the bugger.
It's all in the strip. Short, quick, erratic strips are what you're striving for. These nymphs are fast swimmers. Not some go with the flow type mayfly nymph. Takes are not subtle.
Toss a spinner pattern in the morning when the light just starts to warm thing up. Great searching pattern for an hour or two. Up and at em.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Streamer bite is good to great. Buggers, sculpins and bank junk are all getting grabbed and taken.
Nymphing poor to good. Small rock worm caddis (size 18) as a dropper was the code breaker due to fluctuating flows. Rubber leg stone fly nymph smack down.
The small stream dry fly game is hot. Team up with a dropper for the double or work two levels easily.
A clear intermediate sink tip with five feet of 3X fluorocarbon tippet and small attractor buggers(size 8-10) produced almost all of the fish. Very cool to watch the shadow move and chase the fly. Very rare in here in Maine with all our tannic waters.
If your thinking of doing a trip this fall, now is the time to do it. Every day the curtain lowers a little bit more and that fat bag with the horn helmet is gonna show up and end it. Shut her up and get booking.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
With water levels blown out for a while, it's time to get ready for the drop. September can be one of the best nymphing times of the year. Include a receding water level and odds are stacked in your favor. A good supply of attractor nymphs should be loaded into the nymph box.
Old standbys include: 20 Inchers, Zug Bugs and Princes. We prefer cdc on our Princes by the way. Some other patterns to consider are: Czech style nymphs, San Juan worms, Lightning Bugs and small rubber leg buggers in a variety of color combos.
Be patient and stock up.
Monday, September 5, 2011
My first soft shell was from Latok Mountain Gear. Though the cut of the jacket lacked some design features I wanted, the fabric was very breathable, abrasion and water resistant. While on a climbing trip to Mexico it was stolen and I would have to wait until Cloudveil emerged on the scene. Cloudveil's Serendipity jacket has been one of the best outdoor items I have ever used. Too bad Cloudveil lost their way when growth took over quality. I'm still abusing my Patagonia soft shell hooded jacket that was specifically designed with the fly fisher in mind. I've had it patched, zippers replaced (my fault) and it hasn't given up the ghost yet.
After seeing the new Simms soft shell line up I may replace the workhorse Patagonia. Though I do really like the cross over potential that Patagonia puts into their gear. Ice and alpine climbing season is just around the corner. Tough choice.
This bomber material really comes into it's own in lighter weights. Soft shell field shirts are a great addition when a base layer isn't enough and lighter fleece is too much. Using soft shell pants for back country travel and wet wading eliminates one item in the pack. Shorts are a staple during the summer months. We've used this material for a variety of activities from climbing, skiing, bird hunting and pub crawls. It's tough, dependable and light.
If you are thinking of delving into a new soft shell don't cheap out. Go with Simms or Patagonia on this purchase. We've seen plenty of client's big box failures and honestly we can't stand seeing anymore junk out there. Save your hard shells for consistent heavy rain (like the last two days trips) and lobster.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Here are our random thoughts from past fall seasons: Large soft hackles. Fingerless gloves and hand warmers. Frost in the a.m. How many geese in that V? Baetis!! Slate Drakes!!! 2X. Thermoses of coffee, soup and chili. Orange and Partridge size 14. The favorite 4wt. Streamer chucking float trips. They're on midges. Brown trout colors. Small stream forays. Moose in perfect condition. Jumping salmon. The full flask. Soft shells and puff balls. Snow! Fall micro brews. Swinging with the spey. Watching the light through the foliage. 3:00 a.m. starts. Midday espresso and cigar breaks. Attractor nymphs. Floats with friends. Woodcock. Those pre spawn brookie colors. The long drives home.
It's here. Go get some.